LifeStraw & SlingShot

Written by Kara Sjostrom, ESLLC 2015-2016

It is a well-known fact that the scarcity of drinking water is a major issue in developing countries around the world. According to a study done by the World Health Organization in 2015, almost 700 million people (more than twice the population of United States) worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. The large majority of this population lives in developing areas in the world, where a lack of funding and equipment does not permit easy solutions to the issue. With that being said, there are a multitude of innovative products that have been developed in recent years to combat water contamination issues around the world, two of which I will outline in this post.

Untitled.pngThe first is a product called a LifeStraw. LifeStraw is a personal mobile water purification tool that effectively turns surface water into safe drinking water. The product costs only $5, and provides water purification for one person for up to one year. There is also a $25 family option, which is able to provide drinking water to a family of 4 for three years.

Untitled.pngA similar product is SlingShot. This is a much larger machine, which essentially converts large amounts of polluted or undrinkable water into distilled water. It does this by boiling any contaminated water that is poured into the machine, and then condensing the steam that is produced back into liquid form. This liquid is pure H2O, which is very safe to drink. The SlingShot itself is a device that can processes 1,000 liters of drinkable water in a day, but only runs on the same amount of power to run as a kitchen toaster. Although its price point is a hefty $2,000, one of these devices can supply water to a village of 100 people.

As technology fields expand, it is important for developed countries to understand the power they possess and the amount of change that they can bring to less fortunate parts of the world. Although both of these innovative products were developed in the United States, they were created with a different target market in mind. Inventions like these are becoming easier to develop, and therefore less expensive to create. If you want to read more about either of these products, or a number of similar ones, click on the link below.


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